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2nd Ajyal Youth Film Festival celebrates home-grown talent with showcase of 20 ‘Made in Qatar’ films

Nov 11, 2014

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Doha, Qatar; November 12, 2014: The second Ajyal Youth Film Festival, the annual celebration of cinema presented by the Doha Film Institute, will shine the spotlight on a selection of locally produced films in the ‘Made in Qatar’ section.

An impressive showcase of 20 films made by Qataris and those who call Qatar home, including independent Qatari productions as well as winners of the Institute’s filmmaking challenges, will be screened on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th December at Katara Cultural Village.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Doha Film Institute and Festival Director of Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said: “We are extremely honored to present a selection of films made by talented Qataris and residents of the country at the second Ajyal Youth Film Festival. Our ‘Made in Qatar’ programme is a highlight of the festival, as it underlines our mandate of supporting a home-grown film culture here in Qatar”.

“This year, we were overwhelmed by the number of submissions by professionals and aspiring filmmakers. We are also delighted that we have been able to support their ambitions through our filmmaking challenges and look forward to sharing the results of these initiatives through the Made in Qatar programmes.”

“The thematic diversity and quality of projects in the Made in Qatar section is a testament to the growth and vibrancy within the creative community of our nation. I look forward to welcoming festival-goers to witness this growth and celebrate local talent with us at Ajyal,” said Al Remaihi.

The 20 films will be screened across two programmes on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th December.

‘Made in Qatar 1’ will showcase several short films made as part of a collaboration between the Doha Film Institute and Seha, the National Health Insurance Scheme for the State of Qatar, through which the directors have made films about Qatar’s tradition of care. Those films will screen alongside the following independent projects:

  • 10 %, directed by Yousef Almodhadi, about a man obsessed with his mobile phone that lands him into all kinds of trouble
  • Amreeka Laa by Hind Al-Ansari, which narrates the story of Yousif, who wants to go to university in New York City while his father is vehemently opposed to the idea
  • The Big Dream by Nadia Tabib, about a 10-year-old Algerian boy born in Qatar who hopes to become a champion swimmer
  • He Will Steal It by Abdulaziz Al-Saadi, on the temptation and moral dilemma of a boy who spots a driver leave his mobile phone in the car without locking it
  • New Day by Ali Ali, which depicts an ill woman who prays for assistance until one day she receives news that changes her life
  • T Boy by Maryam Al Sahli, a crushing film that sheds light on immigrant workers through the life of an IT professional who ends up in a job making tea.

The ‘Made in Qatar 2’ programme includes seven independent productions. These are:

  • After My Death, directed by Mohamed Al Hamadi, wherein the soul of a recently deceased young woman is in for some bitter surprises as she pays a visit to her mother, her husband and her girlfriends
  • Coucou by Meriem Mesraoua, which captures the distorted reality of a senile mind, through the life of 80-year-old Samira. Her fragile mental state shatters when an upstairs neighbour’s laundry lands on her balcony
  • Hind’s Dream by Suzannah Mirghani about a young Bedouin woman who spends weeks alone when her husband is away. Their tent is her world yet her dreams travel afar
  • Kings and Queens of Qatar by Shamir Allibhai focuses on Qatar’s women’s chess team, the nation’s first generation of female players at the 40th World Chess Olympiad held in Istanbul
  • Lumiere by Aisha Abduljawad, an abstract symphony of images that plays on the stark contrast between light and shadow, open and closed spaces and urban and natural landscapes
  • Public Phone by Ethar Ahmed Hassaan and Leena Al-Musalmani, where four people from different backgrounds make calls to all corners of the world and show they are all united in their human struggles
  • Temsah by Latifa Al-Darwish on the life of Abdulaziz as he prepares to visit Dubai’s comic convention hoping to find a publisher for ‘Skanwah,’ the first comic book from Qatar

‘Made in Qatar 2’ also includes six winners from the Tarsheed Short Filmmaking Competition organised in collaboration with Kahramaa in celebration of Earth Day 2014 to raise awareness about water and electricity conservation. They are:

  • 7amood Kahraba by Mohammed Abdulla Shaheen on 7amood’s obsession with electricity, using as much as he can, going off the hook when he goes one step too far
  • dRain by Papanapattu Ganesh, which is a clever video that shows conserving water is almost as easy as wasting it and the results are a whole lot tastier
  • Monsters directed by Nesma Sherif and Islam Sherif that puts forth the message that saving water and conserving energy are as easy as flipping a switch but some people seem to need more encouragement than others
  • Reasons Why You Need to Conserve Water and Electricity by Tala Abu Samaan, which dispenses precious information on water and electricity consumption and provides practical tips to save energy and reduce harm to Planet Earth
  • Secure the Future by Hadi Al Marzouki, a smart animated short film that forces viewers to consider important issues like wasting water without using a single word
  • Takrir by Ghassan Kairouz in which a Korean refrigerator, a German toilet, a French washing machine and a Chinese lamp teach an invaluable and funny lesson on water and electricity consumption

‘Made in Qatar 1’ will screen on Thursday, December 4, 7pm at Katara Drama Theatre. ‘Made in Qatar 2’ will screen on Friday, December 5, 5.45pm at the Katara Opera House. Both screenings are free of charge but ticket reservations are required to secure a place.

The second Ajyal Youth Film Festival consists of daily public screenings of local and international films; family weekend; special events and exhibitions; the Sandbox interactive digital playground; school screenings; and the Doha Film Experience – Ajyal’s youth jury, where hundreds of young people between the ages of 8 and 21 will watch and discuss shorts and features and decide on the winning films. The full programme will be announced on 12 November and tickets go on sale 18 November.

For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival.